Workshop Highlights IFPRI’s Research in Uganda

Onion fields in Uganda.

Researchers, practitioners, donors, and government officials gathered in Kampala Wednesday, June 27, for a workshop to showcase IFPRI’s ongoing research in Uganda and to facilitate discussions about current topics in agriculture and nutrition. Todd Benson, head of IFPRI’s Uganda Strategy Support Program opened the morning session.

Bjorn Van Campenhout, IFPRI postdoctoral fellow, presented findings from studies on how rising food prices affect the poor in Uganda and on the impact of a Grameen Foundation mobile phone application to improve agricultural extension services. Nassul Kabunga, postdoctoral fellow, presented initial work of the Nutrition Collaborative Research Support Program which explores the linkages between agriculture and improved nutrition, health, and welfare.

Findings from the HarvestPlus Reaching End Users project showed how Vitamin A rich sweet potatoes contribute to improving micronutrient malnutrition in Uganda and Mozambique. Referring to the current USAID supported project for scaling up biofortified crops in Uganda, Anna-Marie Ball, country manager for HarvestPlus, said “Hundreds of thousands of Ugandans will benefit from better health and nutrition through these biofortified crops in the coming decade.”

Theresa Sengooba, the Program for Biosafety Systems’ regional manager for East Africa, outlined what steps have been taken, in coordination with government and other local partners, to draft legislation and regulations, and to strengthen public outreach and education on biosafety issues.

Participants at the workshop received a demonstration of the Uganda Agricultural Digital Library, a new online resource with over 700 searchable documents on agriculture, food safety, nutrition, food security, and related topics.

IFPRI, a member of the CGIAR, has been active in Uganda since the mid-1990s, with a permanent office in Kampala since 1999. Drawing on the skills and experience of local and international researchers, the IFPRI-Kampala office generates policy-relevant evidence on priority agricultural and related development issues, including pro-poor growth, competitiveness, markets and services, natural resources, and agricultural data systems.